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Help needed those first few B/F days

(32 Posts)
jambot Sat 29-Jan-05 20:11:32

My first baby is due in March and I would very much like to try and breastfeed. However I am working myself into a bit of a state as to how to get started during the first day or two. Every book is telling me something different.
How long should baby be feeding during first days. If she only takes a bit from one breast, should I start the next feed on this breast again or change over, etc, etc? Some tips would put me more at ease.

chatee Sat 29-Jan-05 20:13:48

tiktok or mears are good at this,i myself followed their advice and have and am still feeding my ds who is 11 months old ....good luck

hercules Sat 29-Jan-05 20:13:54

Dont read the books! Speak to a bf counsellor beforehand if you want advice. Far more useful than most books.

lowcalCOD Sat 29-Jan-05 20:14:26

yes is your midwufe no hlep?
mine was great post delivery
keep nagging till you get some help

lowcalCOD Sat 29-Jan-05 20:15:00

yes agree s top reading.

hermykne Sat 29-Jan-05 20:16:54

jambot its the most natural thing dont be getting het up about it , put away all the books, the baby needs to feed often to bring the milk supply in so initally its alot but you'll soon get a feel for it , chatee mentioned the 2 experts who are great at advice so wait for them or search the old threads too for "real"tips

lowcalCOD Sat 29-Jan-05 20:18:06

nowt natural about it for me I am afriad ! I needed al the help I could get!
By ut agree its easier to show than tell

moondog Sat 29-Jan-05 20:20:24

Don't work yourself up! I know we all do about something though. I got myself into a terrible state about prams (silly but true!) Couldn't sleep for worrying about what a '3in1' was, or why they had to be flat on their backs, umbrella action this,footmuff the end, exasperated dh took control and just bought the cheapest!

There are of course many different views on b/feeding. There are on EVERY subject in the world. Do you have b/feeding friends or is a antenatal b/feeding workshop available in your area? Our district offers this and it was really useful.

I am a member of the Association for Breastfeeding Mothers. I would advise you to look at their website. They are diamonds! [smile

Clayhead Sat 29-Jan-05 20:20:40

I agree. Very hard to read about.

Learn how to chant 'it's a long term thing' is the best advice I had, gets you through the first difficult days.

Also, I bf 2 and they were both different so I can't see how a book can tell you what is best!!

Both times the midwives were great at helping me to get started.

Good luck!

lowcalCOD Sat 29-Jan-05 20:21:22

yes and not to confuse being hassled from a non sleeping baby with hassle with bf - bottle asre not always the answer ( bottled ds2)

chatee Sat 29-Jan-05 20:25:21

i went with the idea if it works it works if it doesn't then it's not the end of the world...when it worked for us i was so pleased as i had a nightmare with dd and didn't b/f but expressed for 7 weeks only..
with ds i set myself a target of 4 months and i would be really proud of our achievement, this time came and passed and it was as if a lid was lifted from me....i soooooo enjoy b/f him but if it ended tomorrow, yes i would be sad but it wouldn't last long as i'm so proud that i've managedthis long.....
take it easy and relax don't get stressed about it

HunkerMunker Sat 29-Jan-05 20:25:50

If you do want to read a book make it The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding (published by La Leche League). If you want to read a website, make it \link(\}

Please don't work yourself up over it. Basically, if your baby cries, feed him/her, if you've not fed for several hours, offer the breast, don't worry that they may want to feed several times close together in the evening (called cluster feeding), just feed them, and don't worry too much about which breast - in the early days, if you only feed from one side a feed (which I did till DS was about four months old, but some people offer both breasts a feed - you'll work out what suits you and your baby, I promise), you'll know all about which side to offer from the next time - it will be the fuller boob!

If you experience discomfort feeding, call a breastfeeding counsellor to come and check your latch (do not rely on midwives or health visitors saying it looks all right if it hurts as they're often not trained in breastfeeding).

I'm sure Tiktok and/or Mears will be along soon too. HTH a bit in the meantime though hun.

hercules Sat 29-Jan-05 20:26:36

YEs, agree with Hunkermunker about that book and website.

HunkerMunker Sat 29-Jan-05 20:27:00

Shoulda previewed

pootlepod Sat 29-Jan-05 20:35:58

Keep asking for help if you think you need it. It took 4 midwives/nurses in hospital before I latched LO on. Even then, took a few more weeks to get settled. The first few days (4 for me) were different to the rest, my milk came in on the 3rd/4th day. Sometimes she had both breasts, very often in the beginning one was enough. I tended to feed from the other one, you can usually tell which is the most fullest.

Make sure you drink plenty, have a 'breastfeeding station' with jug/bottles water, muslin cloths, mags, snacks, cushions, even a flask hot drink etc. Try different positions, places and relax, as someone said it's a long term thing.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 29-Jan-05 20:52:03

It's also a really good idea to investigage local resources. Find your nearest breastfeeding drop-in or counsellor, so that if you need to go in the early days, you know where to go and are comfortable asking for help. If you have concerns in the early days, having someone you can go see to get them to check the latch or whatever, is priceless.

pinotgrigio Sat 29-Jan-05 20:55:47

Are you a member of an NCT or ante-natal group? My group had a breast feeding class before our babies were born and I found it really helpful. We had a chance to experiment with dolls and the various positions you could use, as well as a talk on how to latch/unlatch, express and really just how it all works. It gave me a lot of confidence and I didn't have any problems at all when the time came. Good luck!

jambot Sat 29-Jan-05 21:11:42

Thx for all the replies. Know I'm getting myself worked up but am so keen for the b/f to work. So many of my friends gave up after a week or two citing sore boobs as their main problem. One of the books I read was that old '"favourite" Gina Ford. Her b/f programme for the first 2 weeks is enough to put the fear of God into anyone. All the expressing a 100 times a day! Know what most people think of her so will not take the book to heart.

hercules Sat 29-Jan-05 21:12:55

I wouldnt recommend that book for bf.

jambot Sat 29-Jan-05 21:14:35

ALSO, we haven't had our ante-natal class on b/f yet and the woman taking it is a b/f consultant, so I'm sure she will set me right. I'm in Cape Town, South Africa by the way, and we don't see midwives at all - it's the gynae right through the pregnancy, and don't think she's too clued up on the old b/f.

jambot Sat 29-Jan-05 21:15:09

Thx for all the replies. Know I'm getting myself worked up but am so keen for the b/f to work. So many of my friends gave up after a week or two citing sore boobs as their main problem. One of the books I read was that old '"favourite" Gina Ford. Her b/f programme for the first 2 weeks is enough to put the fear of God into anyone. All the expressing a 100 times a day! Know what most people think of her so will not take the book to heart.

paolosgirl Sat 29-Jan-05 21:17:05

Agree with the others re the books - they seem to be so technical, and if they're not being technical, they're making it a political issue! I found it really helpful to put mine onto the breast while we were still in the delivery room - pretty sure they weren't feeding, but it seemed to kick start things. Then, get lots of help from the midwives, and just go with the flow. It takes AT LEAST 6 weeks to get the feeding established into a pattern, so just pop them on whenever they and you feel like it to help get the milk going. The NCT's really good as well - relax and enjoy, and don't worry about how much the baby is getting. When it's had enough, it'll stop feeding. You could always try popping your baby on the other boob to see if it's still hungry.

chocolatecath Sat 29-Jan-05 21:27:59

Jambot, don't take Gina Ford's advice on breastfeeding! Please! Just ignore it! Read "Bestfeeding" (recommended to me by my Breastfeeding Counsellor) and ring a Breastfeeding Counsellor if you have any doubts or queries when your baby arrives. Attending a support group can be really helpful too. Unfortuantely not all midwives are experts on breastfeeding so don't be afraid to get a second opinion. Don't panic if your baby doesn't put on weight as quickly as your midwife would like or if you get sore nipples - just make sure you are properly managed by BFC and you will be fine. These problems can be sorted out with the right help. Feed the baby as often as he wants (aim for 8-12 feeds in the first few weeks) and remember it takes 6-8 weeks to establish a milk supply. Things get a lot easier after that. You might be one of those mum-and-baby pairs who has no problems... just remember that there is help available if you do have problems... so don't be afraid to ask. You are doing the best thing for your baby. All the best with the baby and the feeding... you have been really sensible to ask advice now... wish I'd been that sensible!! Instead I gave up when my ds was 2 weeks (that was 5 yrs ago!) and I regret it to this day! I have fed two babies since and with the right help it has been fine.

Clayhead Sat 29-Jan-05 21:33:13

jambot, if it's any use to you, I was sore for the first 2 weeks but was lucky to have supportive around me people who encouraged me to keep going. I did, the soreness went and I fed for 12 months (dd) and 15 months (ds). What I'm trying to say is that a little soreness at the beginning doesn't stop long term, successful bf.

My experience was very similar to HunkerMunker, if baby cried, I tried feeding, when they were little they fed loads and it gradually became more spaced out.

If you have difficulties, I would try to come on here and ask advice, I found that really useful, there always seemed to be someone around to help!

Clayhead Sat 29-Jan-05 21:33:54

Sorry, meant coming on here as one idea, along with bf counsellor/help lines/groups

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